No. 29 Arizona State Women's Tennis to Host No. 68 Arizona This Weekend
April 16, 2009
The 25th-ranked Sun Devil Women's Tennis team (10-8, 3-7 Pac-10) will host 68th-ranked foes the Arizona Wildcats (10-9, 1-6 Pac 10) this Saturday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. in Tempe at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center. The conference match is the last home game of the season and also Senior Day, where the team will honor it's sole senior, Laila Abdala.
The Sun Devils
The Devils dropped four spots in the national rankings last week, from No. 25 to 29, after dramatic losses to No. 11 UCLA ad No. 9 UCLA, in Tempe. ASU boasts three ranked singles players: No. 5 Kelcy McKenna, No. 38 Nadia Abdala and No. 93 Micaela Hein, while bringing to the courts two nationally-ranked doubles teams: No. 12 Kelcy McKenna/Micaela Hein and No. 37, sisters Laila and Nadia Abdala.
In the 2008 season, the Devils dispatched the Wildcats 6-1 in conference play. The `Cats bring with them three ranked players: Senior Danielle Steinberg sitting at No. 92, Natasha Marks at No. 109, and No. 111 Sarah Landsman. They are also ranked in doubles with No. 63 Danielle Steinberg and Sarah Landsman and No. 75 Claire Riestch and Natasha Marks.
The final home game of the season is also Senior Day and this year Arizona State will honor it's lone senior, Laila Abdala. The San Diego, Calif. native earned Pac-10 All Academic Honors last season and posted 19 wins in singles play. A consistent performer, this season she has posted 10 wins in singles action and 14 wins in doubles play with sister Nadia Abdala, including an upset of No. 20 Marina Cossou and Claire Ilcinkas of California in conference play this month.
Women's Tennis will head to Ojai, California to compete in the Pac-10 Championships from April 23-26.
Legends of the Fall
The Fall 2008 season saw ASU dominating competition at the Cal Nike Invitational, where sophomore Kelcy McKenna took home the ITA Singles Gold crown as well as the ITA Doubles Gold title with teammate Micaela Hein. ASU also collected its third ITA All-American in two years with McKenna.
The 2009 season has seen exciting doubles action from Arizona State, with the return of partners Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna, who finished with an impressive 17-4 overall record in 2008. Senior Laila Abdala will also pair up for a final season with her sister, junior Nadia Abdala. The sisters will be in quest of success after posting 10 wins last season.
To Be the Best...
The Sun Devils have traditionally played one of the most rigorous schedules in the nation and this season has been no different. The team has been tested with a mixture of strong non-conference play and strenuous Pac-10 matchups, including this week's contest against two top teams.
Where They Stack Up
Last year, the Sun Devils finished the season ranked at No. 23 posting a 15-8 overall record, a fourth place conference finish and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State is currently ranked 29th with four returning letter winners and powerhouse Kelcy McKenna, who has been ranked in the top five all season.
At The Helm
Coach Sheila McInerney enters her 25th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program. In 2008, she led the team to a university record 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance following a winning 15-8 season. Those wins saw ASU upset NCAA Champion UCLA, as well as conquer Stanford for the first time in program history.